Last month we listed the top ten MISTAKES MARKETERS MAKE, and we promised this month we would tackle the more uplifting topic of SUCCESS. (Thankfully, only SEVEN of them…) Technically, doing the opposite of “Mistakes” should yield success, but here we address these more specifically:
1. WALK THE TALK. This may seem like a “Duh…” but it’s surprising how many companies say they practice marketing but have no actual marketing department, manager or function. The successful marketer knows the difference between sales and marketing, and builds the latter in his/her organization to support the sales efforts.
2. PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH. Malcolm Gladwell’s fascinating book Outliers describes a study which proves that to achieve genius level in any profession — be it doctor, lawyer, and yes, even a Rock band — you need to put in a minimum of 10,000 hours of practice. Successful marketers don’t sit on their laurels and are always honing their craft.
3. LEARN TO LOVE METRICS. Most marketers love the power of words but many hate the push of numbers. Successful marketers know that only by setting and measuring specific goals can they be assured their marketing plan works…or if they should start looking for another job.
4. SEEK SOLUTIONS. Top marketers know they’re not in the business of manufacturing or distributing widgets. They’re in the business of providing solutions, either for actual or merely perceived problems. They live by the famous cement company tag line: find a need and fill it.
5. EMBRACE THE NEW. Smart marketers realize that while they may not personally appreciate FaceBook, Twitter, Del.ici.ous, or any other of the myriad social and viral networking tools out there today, they know what they can or cannot do to market a specific product or service. Then, they make a dispassionate decision whether or not to employ them.
6. HARNESS THE POWER OF PR. The new social networking tools are popular and powerful because they’re not like advertising, but simply a general concensus on the merits of something. Advertising may be effective at creating awareness, but there is nothing quite as convincing as a non-paid endorsement from a third party (PR). Savvy marketers try to get the “buzz” out about themselves and their products as often as possible.
7. CRAFT A CRISIS PLAN. No matter how brilliant a marketing plan or its execution is, it can all come tumbling down during a crisis. We have seen this numerous times when a product contamination or foodborne illness can bring an entire industry to its knees. Successful marketers rely on two complete plans: their marketing AND their crisis one.
NEXT MONTH: FIVE FOLLIES vs. FACTS!